Hey w**ker, can I have some cheese with that, please.

F**k,” shouts Tattoo man.
“W**ker,” shouts his friend.
It is lunch time, and I am in a Spar supermarket in Arisaig, a port town on the West coast of Scotland.
From the sliding windows I can see a bay filled with yachts and beyond the bay are the craggy cliffs of the isle of Eigg.

The bay in Arisaig

The bay in Arisaig


Not much happens in Arisaig, until now.
“W**ker.”
“F**k.”
I turn and see Tattoo man and his friend walking down an aisle. Tattoo man is carrying a shopping basket. Both have shaven heads and Tattoo man has tattoos inked on his worked arms. They are also wearing wife beater shirts.
Must be local soccer hooligans, those Brit tabloids always warn about, me thinks as I slip down the next aisle to avoid them.
Maybe they are here to score liquor before setting off to hunt down a football match.
Cheap Highland whisky to fuel a raid on the Arisaig Primary school soccer match, perhaps.
The sleepy town of Arisaig

The sleepy town of Arisaig


“F**k.”
“Homosexual,” adds Tattoo man.
Could it be that homosexual is a swear word in Scotland.
“W**ker”, the friend says picking up a can of mushed peas.
“Homosexual”. Tattoo man is checking the price on a packet of crisps.
The other customers continue shopping as if deaf, oblivious to the rampage that is about to happen at their local football match.
I get to the till and, damn Tattoo man is ahead of me in the queue.
He eyes me and the two packs of sandwiches I hold in my hand.
“Would you like to go first?” He asks.
Okay, I say.
I get to the till.
F**k!
I turn, slowly.
This is high noon time in the town of Arisaig.
“Sorry about that, we have Tourette’s syndrome,” he says.
He is blushing.
So all it is is just two guys with one of the rarest disorders in the world, doing a little shopping.

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About Shaun Smillie

Journalist, with a love of bones, fossils and other things dug up. Fisherman and occasional beer maker.
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